close-up portrait of a figure dressed in black wearing a black veil

The Minister's Black Veil

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Why did the Minister wear the veil to the wedding ceremony? what was the lesson he was trying to teach by wearing the veil to a happy celebration like this?

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil," the black veil and the underlying message behind it--that every human being conceals his or her innermost secrets and desires--is true in times of great happiness and also in times of great sadness. The message behind the black veil is appropriate for weddings and for funerals. Also, no one is spared from the truth of this message; even married couples conceal some secrets from one another. Our secrets and our sins never take "time off;" they never can be removed or washed away. We carry them with us where ever we go, even to wedding ceremonies.

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